Inside HRSA, November - December 2008, Health Resources and Services Administration
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Setting an Example, HRSA's Blackmon Completes College Degree

On October 19, Larnarda Blackmon, a nine-year employee in HRSA’s Division of Management Services, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix at a graduation ceremony in Constitution Hall in downtown Washington.

Blackmon completed his four-year course of studies in three years, working full time at HRSA as he studied. On an average week he worked four 10-hour days, from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Twice a week he went to class at the university’s Greenbelt, Md., campus near his home in Laurel from 6 to 10 p.m.

“I’d get home about 10:30, 10:45, just in time to go to bed and get up at 4:30 to be back at HRSA by 6,” Blackmon told Inside HRSA.

“Every week I usually had two individual papers to write and two team papers to contribute to and edit,” he said. “I tried to get my school work done at home on the spare week nights to be able to spend the weekends with my two girls, now 20 and 17.”

Blackmon said he had been out of school for 23 years before enrolling in 2005.


Larnarda Blackmon
Larnarda Blackmon


“I got my degree because I wanted to make myself more marketable, and I also wanted to set a good example for my kids,” he explained. “I felt I couldn’t effectively encourage them through college without setting an example.”

Blackmon said he’s not done either. “I plan to keep studying — hopefully in a year or so, I’ll have my master’s degree.

“You’re never too old to learn,” he said. “Never too old to reach your goals in life. That’s what I tell my girls, too.”

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